Steelers announce they’ll part ways with Hines Ward
The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced today that they will be releasing Long-Time WR Hines Ward before the beginning of the next league year (March 13th).
Steelers president Art Rooney II announced today “We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year.”
Ward was drafted by the franchise in 1998 and has been a big part of the Steelers success over the last decade, bringing in 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 Touchdowns, as well as being named the MVP of Super Bowl XL. Ward saw a reduced role in the Steelers offense last year and vowed to “be the biggest cheerleader out there” in his role. He also said this off-season that he would take a pay-cut and play for the Veterans minimum. With the hire of Todd Haley and dismissal of Ward, this proves the Steelers plan on making changes the the style of offense we’ve seen from them in years past.
Hines Ward has since released a statement saying “This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end. I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago. I want to thank the organization, my teammates and coaches and everyone who made my run as a Steeler the best years of my life. To Mr. Rooney, thank you for allowing me to play for one of the greatest organizations in the world. To my fans and in particular, Steeler Nation, thank you for your support and all the great memories. I gave my heart and soul for you every down and I will always bleed black and gold. I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season.”